Helping former prisoners move outside the barbed wire

17 Jun 2022 by Dr Jonathan Foye is Insights Editor in: Latest News

Gavin Squires spent much of his life behind bars, but is now helping others in his situation, with help from Bathurst Uniting.

As Mr Squires told local newspaper The Bathurst Advocate, this came off the back of a tough upbringing and time spent in and out of boys’ homes.

“Growing up as a kid, I was abused and beaten, and into criminal stuff…from a very young age. I’ve been in and out of institutions for the last 35 years,” he said.

“I’ve done 29 years’ jail and the rest in boys’ homes. That’s pretty much my life, it’s all been down this path of jail, drugs.”

After spending time in prison, Mr Squires has experienced homeless. He has turned to Bathurst Uniting Support Services (BUSS) for support, and is now helping them deliver a program called Outside the Barb Wire.

Outside the Barb Wire is a group that meets weekly. It includes people who have been incarcerated and would like to discuss their experiences with others who have also been there.  

Mr Squires said that a program like this can help and that it has given him some additional sense of purpose.

“It just feels good to help someone. Some weeks blokes don’t even turn up, but I sit here just because that one that does might be in that headspace and you’re going to be there to help them.”

“It’s been a hard slog, but I’m getting there.”